Dara Duff-Bergeron: Sweaty Mummy


The YMC Couch To 5k In Two Months

Join us at the RBC Run For the Kids

The YMC Couch To 5k In Two Months

Everyone starts somewhere. Even a couch potato can run a 5k.

As a trainer I hear the question “Am I fit enough to do this?” or “What if I can’t do it all?”

Sometimes, getting started is the hardest part.

Admitting you need some coaching or advice can be a difficult practice in humility, and once you’ve realized you need support the challenge is in finding the right resource — coach, support group, book, program — to get you to where you need to be.

Entrusting your own health to someone is hard enough. Putting your child’s health into someone else’s hands is supremely difficult. It’s just not the kind of task you want to rely on the old Google machine for.

But that’s just the problem that Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre identified among the families entering its Youth Psychiatry Division. Most of us can ask a trusted family friend for a paediatric recommendation, or check the testimonials on a dentist’s website and feel alright about that first appointment. What if your child needs a psychologist?

It can be difficult to talk about, even in 2013, but mental health issues are as serious as any other health issues of the body. As many as two million Canadian youth struggle with mental health issues and yet only one in five will get specialized treatment, in large part because families don’t know where to go, how to determine or how to find the services their children need.

Enter Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, which houses the largest Youth Psychiatry Division in Canada and oversees North America’s largest mood and anxiety disorders clinic for adolescents. Their planned Family Navigation Project will pair families with “navigators” — experts on the Canadian mental health-care system — who can provide patients with a better understanding of their options and how to access them. The Family Navigation Project is not just a way to find the right treatment option. The navigator will make tailored recommendations, follow through to ensure the plan is working, and re-evaluate if it’s not.

As every trainer, teacher, or coach knows, a plan is the first step to overcoming a challenge.

I’m sure you’ve faced a physical challenge you felt overwhelmed by — Childbirth? Exercise during pregnancy? Core work after a c-section? Strength training after a back injury?

How about running your first 5K?


The Royal Bank of Canada and Sunnybrook have partnered together to create the RBC Run for the Kids, a unique fundraising event in support of the Family Navigation Project.

The RBC Run for the Kids takes place over an entire weekend on September 21 and 22 and includes three different ways to get involved for all fitness levels and ages:

  A fun 5km run/walk — open to all ages, individuals, families, teams

  An exciting 15km Youth Challenge — for youth 18 years of age and younger

  An inspiring 25km race — seasoned runners can go beyond the half marathon

I’d like to challenge you all to come out and join me and the YMC crew at the RBC Run for the Kids this September! I’ll be there with my little ones, ready to run. But I won’t just leave you hanging…

Let me guide you! Here is the plan you’ll need to get you from couch to 5K in two months. This plan is based on the running program we use for Belly Bootcamp clients, and it works wonders!

Begin each of the following workouts with a brisk walk until you feel you’ve broken a sweat and your heart is beating moderately quickly (you shouldn’t feel exhausted during your warm up, just revved up). Finish with a cool down walk and stretch the muscles of the legs before you head inside (No one stretches once they’re already inside… trust me.).

Perform each week’s workouts 3 times, and aim to leave a day in between for some cross training: strength training, cycling, yoga, and whatever makes you feel like a rock star.

Watch for upcoming strength training moves to help prevent injury as you ramp up your running, and to strengthen and tone those legs for a lifetime of running, racing, and generally looking awesome in shorts.

And remember the point of all this, besides getting fitter, faster, and having a great time.

Like RBC Run For the Kids on Facebook and show your support for families just like yours, facing mental health issues.

Sign up for the RBC Run For the Kids and join Team YMC — together we can train for fitter bodies, healthy hearts and healthier Canadian kids!

See you at the starting line!

Join Team YMC for the RBC Run For the Kids on September 21 & 22! Choose from a 5k run/walk for all ages, an exciting 15k Youth Challenge Course, or an inspiring 25k race.
It’s a fun family weekend you can feel good about.
And after the race, explore the toys and activities at the Nickelodeon Fun Zone and have the chance to win awesome prizes.
Check out the SpongeBob BMX team as they show off their stunts in support of the RBC Run for the Kids. Enjoy the Dora Live stage show or get a family photo with Dora and SpongeBob.